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Graphics/Benchmarks

A Fresh Look At The NVIDIA vs. Radeon Linux Performance & Perf-Per-Watt For August 2018

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With NVIDIA expected to announce the Turing-based GeForce RTX 2080 series today as part of their Gamescom press conference, here is a fresh look at the current NVIDIA Linux OpenGL/Vulkan performance with several Pascal graphics cards compared to AMD Polaris and Vega offerings. Additionally, with these latest Linux drivers, the current look at the performance-per-Watt.

It will be interesting to learn more about the GeForce RTX 2080 series in a short time, which will surely deliver significantly better performance and power efficiency improvements over the GeForce GTX 1000 "Pascal" hardware. But for a current look at how those cards are running under Linux, this morning are benchmarks for the GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1080, and GTX 1080 Ti while using the latest NVIDIA 396.51 graphics driver. For the competition on the AMD side was the Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX 580 (the GTX 1060 / RX 580 included in this article for a more mature look at the Linux driver support, namely for the AMDGPU+RADV/RadeonSI side). The Radeon tests were done with the latest Linux 4.18 AMDGPU DRM state and using Mesa 18.3-dev from the Oibaf PPA as of 19 August.

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The Performance Hit For A Xeon-Backed Ubuntu Linux VM With L1TF / Foreshadow Patches

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Last week L1 Terminal Fault (a.k.a. L1TF and Foreshadow) was made public as the latest set of speculative execution vulnerabilities affecting Intel processors. This Meltdown-like issue was met by same-day Linux kernel patches for mitigating the problem and does introduce another performance penalty but in this case is at least only limited to virtual machines. Last week I posted some initial L1TF-mitigated KVM-based VM benchmark results using a Core i7 CPU but the results for sharing today are using a much more powerful dual Xeon server.

For getting a better idea of the performance impact of mitigating L1TF/Foreshadow vulnerabilities I tested the Ubuntu patched kernel in a variety of configurations. First was the unmitigated Ubuntu 18.04 kernel, then Ubuntu 18.04 with the default out-of-the-box mitigation on the host and guest kernels, then having the host booted with the kernel parameter to force an L1D cache flush on every VMENTER rather than the default behavior of the conditional flushing, and then again when booting with l1tf=full for the full mitigation, which in the process also disables SMT/HT support.

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A Look At The Windows vs. Linux Scaling Performance Up To 64 Threads With The AMD 2990WX

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Graphics/Benchmarks

This past week we looked at the Windows 10 vs. Linux performance for AMD's just-launched Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and given the interest from that then ran some Windows Server benchmarks to see if the performance of this 64-thread CPU would be more competitive to Linux. From those Windows vs. Linux tests there has been much speculation that the performance disparity is due to Windows scheduler being less optimized for high core/thread count processors and its NUMA awareness being less vetted than the Linux kernel. For getting a better idea, here are benchmarks of Windows Server 2019 preview versus Ubuntu Linux when testing varying thread/core counts for the AMD Threadripper 2990WX.

Toggled via the BIOS was SMT as well as various CCX configurations and each step of the way comparing the Windows Server 2019 Build 17733 performance to that of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with the Linux 4.18 kernel in various multi-threaded benchmarks supported under both operating systems.

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Benchmarks Of Btrfs RAID On Four Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSDs

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Graphics/Benchmarks

With the MSI MEG X399 CREATION that we received as part of the launch package for the Threadripper 2950X and Threadripper 2990WX it includes the XPANDER-AERO that provides 4-way M.2 NVMe SSD slots on a PCI Express x16 card. The XPANDER-AERO is actively cooled and could be passed off as a small form factor graphics card upon a very cursory examination. With this card I've been running tests on four Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSDs in RAID to offer stellar Linux I/O performance. Here are some initial benchmarks using Btrfs.

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Graphics: Wayland/Weston, Mesa and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Wayland 1.16 / Weston 5.0 RC2 Released To Fix Vulnerabilities

    Two release candidates of Wayland 1.16 / Weston 5.0 were not originally scheduled, but it's been necessitated due to some pressing issues both with Wayland and its reference compositor.

    Samsung's Derek Foreman issued these "RC2" releases on Friday rather than going straight to the official Wayland 1.16 and Weston 5.0 releases. On the Wayland front, Michael Srb found and fixed issues that could cause pointer overflows within Wayland's connection code. These overflow fixes are the only changes in this Wayland 1.15.94 (RC2) version.

  • RAGE & Doom Get Radeon Workarounds In Mesa 18.3-dev

    If you are looking to enjoy id Software's RAGE or Doom VFR games this weekend on Linux via Wine, they should be playing nicer with the latest open-source Mesa graphics driver code.

    Timothy Arceri at Valve has added a workaround to get RAGE working under Wine with RadeonSI. The workaround is a DRIRC configuration addition for allowing GLSL built-in variable redeclarations. This is enough to get RAGE working with RadeonSI on Mesa Git. Though only RadeonSI is working out currently since the game relies upon the OpenGL compatibility profile mode that is only supported currently by RadeonSI when it comes to the Mesa drivers. Thanks to Valve's developers and others, the OpenGL compatibility profile mode for RadeonSI has matured into great shape these past few months.

  • Adreno 600 Series Support Lands In Mesa 18.3 Gallium3D

    With the Adreno 600 series support going into Linux 4.19 for the kernel bits, the user-space OpenGL driver support for the latest-generation Qualcomm graphics has now been merged into Mesa.

    Kristian Høgsberg Kristensen of Google's Chrome OS graphics team (yes, Kristian of Wayland and DRI2 fame) has been working on the Gallium3D support for the Adreno 600 series hardware along with Freedreno founder Rob Clark. This A6xx support is being tacked onto the existing Freedreno Gallium3D driver and amounts to just over six thousand lines of new code. Keep in mind this A6xx Freedreno back-end must also be used with the supported MSM DRM driver in the Linux 4.19+ kernel.

  • AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 Radeon Linux Driver Released with Support for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

    Featuring official support for the AMD Radeon PRO WX 8200 graphics cards and initial Wattman-like functionality, the Radeon Software for Linux 18.30 finally adds support for some of the most recent Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and CentOS Linux distributions.

    These include Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10, CentOS 7.5, and CentOS 6.10. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server (SLED/SLES) 12 Service Pack (SP) 3 is supported as well, but not the latest SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Update Fixes Witcher 3 Issue, Bug Fixes

    In addition to AMD releasing AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 on Friday, they also did their usual weekly source push of their newest "AMDVLK" open-source Radeon Vulkan driver code.

Graphics: Intel and AMD Developments

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Intel Has Quietly Been Working On A New Gallium3D Driver Being Called "Iris"

    After resisting Gallium3D for the past decade with a preference on continuing to maintain their "i965" Mesa classic driver and all they've invested into its compiler stack and more, it seems times are changing as the open-source Intel team has been starting up development of a modern Gallium3D driver.

    This is not to be confused with the former i915g or i965g efforts from about a decade ago that were the experiments of Tungsten/LunarG for driver research/experimentation purposes or in the case of i915g to handle some features with LLVM in software, but this is a modern Gallium3D driver targeting their current hardware.

  • AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 Linux Graphics Driver Released with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and RHEL / CentOS Support

    The long awaited AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 driver update for the AMD Linux graphics driver package has finally been released, with a driver installation option for both “all open” and closed / proprietary driver modules.

    What is great about this driver package update is that it is supported on the latest Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS as well as Ubuntu 16.04.5, and RHEL / CentOS 6.10 and 7.5 respectively for their Enterprise Linux support targets.

  • AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 Released With Ubuntu 18.04.1 Support & WattMan-Like Functionality

    AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 is now available as the long desired update to this official AMD Linux graphics driver package that consists of the driver installation option for both the "all-open" and closed/proprietary driver modules.

    Notable to the AMDGPU-PRO 18.30 release is that Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS is now supported as well as Ubuntu 16.04.5. Additionally, RHEL/CentOS 6.10 and 7.5 release series round out their enterprise Linux support targets.

Linux Scaling Benchmarks With The AMD Threadripper 2990WX In Various Workloads

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Graphics/Benchmarks

While yesterday were the benchmarks showing how Linux games struggle to scale past a few CPU cores/threads, in this article is a look at the scaling performance of various applications/workloads under Linux up to 64 threads using the AMD Threadripper 2990WX. Here's a look at how the Linux performance changes in a variety of applications from one to sixty-four threads with this new HEDT processor.

The benchmarks today are for mostly curiosity sake about Linux and the Threadripper 2990WX, particularly on the impact of 32 threads (cores) to 64 threads with SMT, etc. In the next few days is a much more interesting comparison and that is looking at the Windows Server 2019 vs. Linux performance on the Threadripper 2990WX at various SMT and CCX configurations. That should reveal a lot about Windows' scaling abilities given the immense interest this week in the Windows vs. Linux Threadripper performance. But for today are just these reference numbers.

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Windows Games On Linux and Linux Gaming Performance

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GNU
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Windows Games On Linux? Valve May Be Working On New “Steam Play” Tool

    Even though there are quite a few Linux-based distro options for gamers, hardcore gamers often go back to Windows to play the games they love. SteamOS from Valve, the most popular gaming Linux distro, seems to be making headlines from time-to-time, but things have been quiet for some time.

  • A Look At Linux Gaming Performance Scaling On The Threadripper 2950X

    On Monday when the launch embargo expired on the Threadripper 2950X and Threadripper 2990WX I hadn't run any gaming benchmarks since, well, most games even on Windows can't scale out to 32 threads let alone 64 threads... Especially on Linux. It's far more practical getting these Threadripper 2 processors if you want to compile with 32 or 64 make jobs -- among many other common multi-threaded Linux workloads -- versus using this $899 or $1799 processor for a Linux gaming system. But if you are curious how Linux games scale with the Threadripper 2950X, here are some benchmark results when testing both AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics.

A Quick Look At The Windows Server vs. Linux Performance On The Threadripper 2990WX

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Graphics/Benchmarks

One of the frequent requests/comments stemming from the launch-day Windows 10 vs. Linux benchmarks on the new AMD Threadripper 2990WX were questions about whether this 32-core / 64-thread processor would do better with Windows Server given Microsoft's obvious tuning of that Windows flavor to high core/thread counts... Well, here are some initial figures with Windows Server 2016 and a Windows Server 2019 preview.

Given the immense interest and speculation about the Windows Server performance on the AMD Threadripper 2990WX, to see if it would give Linux better competition relative to Windows 10, I ran some initial benchmarks so far. I am still doing some more Windows vs. Linux exploration and benchmarking (a lot of other interesting tests from this new hardware) while for today are the Windows Server 2016/2019 results alongside the other operating system tests on this 2990WX system.

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L1TF/Foreshadow News and Benchmarks

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Security
  • Three More Intel Chip Exploits Surface
  • Spectre-like “Foreshadow” Flaw In Intel CPUs Can Leak Your Secrets
  • QEMU 3.0 Brings Spectre V4 Mitigation, OpenGL ES Support In SDL Front-End

    QEMU 3.0 is now officially available. This big version bump isn't due to some compatibility-breaking changes, but rather to simplify their versioning and begin doing major version bumps on an annual basis. As an added bonus, QEMU 3.0 comes at a time of the project marking its 15th year in existence.

    QEMU 3.0 does amount to being a big feature release with a lot of new functionality as well as many improvements. Changes in QEMU 3.0 include Spectre V4 mitigation for x86 Intel/AMD, improved support for nested KVM guests on Microsoft Hyper-V, block device support for active mirroring, improved support for AHCI and SCSI emulation, OpenGL ES support within the SDL front-end, improved latency for user-mode networking, various ARM improvements, some POWER9 / RISC-V / s390 improvements too, and various other new bits.

  • How the L1 Terminal Fault vulnerability affects Linux systems

    Announced just yesterday in security advisories from Intel, Microsoft and Red Hat, a newly discovered vulnerability affecting Intel processors (and, thus, Linux) called L1TF or “L1 Terminal Fault” is grabbing the attention of Linux users and admins. Exactly what is this vulnerability and who should be worrying about it?

  • An Early Look At The L1 Terminal Fault "L1TF" Performance Impact On Virtual Machines

    Yesterday the latest speculative execution vulnerability was disclosed that was akin to Meltdown and is dubbed the L1 Terminal Fault, or "L1TF" for short. Here are some very early benchmarks of the performance impact of the L1TF mitigation on the Linux virtual machine performance when testing the various levels of mitigation as well as the unpatched system performance prior to this vulnerability coming to light.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 8.2 M2 Released With Offline Improvements, L1TF/Foreshadow Reporting

    The second development snapshot of the upcoming Phoronix Test Suite 8.2-Rakkestad to benchmark to your heart's delight on Linux, macOS, Windows, Solaris, and BSD platforms from embedded/SBC systems to cloud and servers.

  • The Linux Benchmarking Continues On The Threadripper 2950X & 2990WX

    While I haven't posted any new Threadripper 2950X/2990WX benchmarks since the embargo expired on Monday with the Threadripper 2 Linux review and some Windows 10 vs. Linux benchmarks, tests have continued under Linux -- as well as FreeBSD.

    I should have my initial BSD vs. Linux findings on Threadripper 2 out later today. There were about 24 hours worth of FreeBSD-based 2990WX tests going well albeit DragonFlyBSD currently bites the gun with my Threadripper 2 test platforms. More on that in the upcoming article as the rest of those tests finish. It's also been a madhouse with simultaneously benchmarking the new Level 1 Terminal Fault (L1TF) vulnerability and the performance impact of those Linux mitigations on Intel hardware will start to be published in the next few hours.

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